MSU shooting victims identified: Alexandria Verner, Arielle Anderson and Brian Fraser id as fatalities at hands of Michigan State University gunman, Anthony McRae. Why target college students?
Why take out promising college students and future stars?
The three Michigan State University students killed in the on-campus mass shooting Monday night at the hands of Lansing gunman, Anthony Dwayne McRae, 43, have been identified — including two victims from the same town.
Alexandria ‘Alex’ Verner, of Clawson, Michigan, was identified in a statement from her hometown school district, which described her as ‘a tremendous student.’
A 2020 graduate of Clawson High School, Verner is remembered by her alma mater as ‘a tremendous student, athlete, [and] leader’ who ‘exemplified kindness.’
‘If you knew [Alex], you loved her and we will forever remember the lasting impact she has had on all of us,’ the statement read.
“She defined what being a phenomenal human being was all about.”
“She was just a sweet, kind, amazing, smart, just down to earth person. She was always there to help.”https://t.co/qArWwSz4eQ
— Jocelyn Benson (@JocelynBenson) February 15, 2023
‘She defined what being a phenomenal human being was all about,’
According to her LinkedIn profile, Verner was studying integrated biology and anthropology at MSU, and was set to graduate in 2024.
Known for her athletic prowess, leadership and academic abilities, Verner, 20, ’embodied everything that as a parent you would want your daughter to embody,’ said Clawson Public Schools superintendent Billy Shellenbarger, who the Verner family authorized to speak on their behalf. “High character, kindness, a giver, so well-mannered, always smiling. …
‘She defined what being a phenomenal human being was all about,’ he said according to FREEP. ‘Adults looked up to her because of it — I looked up to her.’
Verner was an all-state softball player, and league-MVP in basketball and volleyball her senior year of high school. She was also in the National Honor Society and student leadership council — selected as a ‘culture builder’ who could set a good example, Shellenbarger said.
The Michigan State University Department of Police and Public Safety confirmed that Brian Fraser, 20, a sophomore who graduated in 2021 from Michigan’s Grosse Pointe South High School, was also killed at the hands of McRae.
Fraser’s Linkedn profile indicates he was studying business, and had previously served as head lifeguard at a Detroit-area country club.
The Grosse Pointe Public School System also confirmed on Tuesday that Fraser and another former student from the same system were killed in the shooting.
“Brian Fraser was an MSU sophomore from Grosse Pointe and Alexandria Verner was an MSU junior from Clawson, according to MSU police. The third victim’s name hasn’t been publicly released.”
Five Students remain in critical condition. https://t.co/AJzhkiOssp
— Melissa (@Proudmimi12) February 14, 2023
Why target college students?
The third victim was identified by WXYZ Detroit as Arielle Diamond Anderson, 19, who graduated from Grosse Pointe North High.
Anderson’s family told WXYZ she loved children and hoped to be a pediatrician.
As of Tuesday afternoon, five other victims remain hospitalized in critical condition.
Anthony McRae according to police was not affiliated with MSU, with police yet to necessarily understand how or why the former ‘God fearing’ warehouse worker came to target students. The gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound late Monday before police were able to reach him.
Found on the body of McRae was a note that threatened additional attacks on two schools in Ewing Township, New Jersey.
It remained unclear how or why those two schools came under McRae’s radar.